Tap & Go card set to cut queue times

first_imgShoppers purchasing items worth less than £10 may soon be able to pay by simply tapping their debit card on a terminal before walking away.MasterCard’s new Tap & Go system, which will offer retailers much lower payment processing charges than on normal credit or debit card transactions, does not require a PIN number or signature because the purchase value is so low. It works by means of radio waves, which are sent from a special chip in the card and picked up by the PayPass terminal. Payment can be made in less than a second and only works with transactions of less than £10. RBS pilotThe Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) will trial the new technology, which is also dubbed ‘contactless payment’, on Maestro debit cards at its Gogaburn headquarters in Scotland. Lasting for six months from June, the scheme will see retailers at its headquarters, including a c-store, deli and coffee shop, using the PayPass system to take payment from RBS’s 3,000 employees. The shops are not open to the general public, so the trial will be completely closed.MasterCard, which plans to roll out the technology across Europe, says Tap & Go cards will help cut queues and offer customers a more convenient way of paying for low-cost items compared to cash. The scheme has already found success in the US where McDonald’s, supermarkets and cinema chains use the system.Retailers in the RBS pilot scheme will be supplied the PayPass terminals free of charge. The small device is fitted to conventional Chip and PIN readers or can stand alone. The special EMV chip required for these low-value payments will be added to all new RBS debit cards issued to staff taking part in the scheme.National ambitionsOnce the PayPass system is rolled out nationally, retailers will be able to rent or buy the scanners outright. Charges will be much lower than with conventional debit or credit card payments, because the transaction does not have to be authorised online, thereby cutting time and costs. The scanner automatically deducts funds from the payer’s account. The system could be of particular use to sandwich chains and high-volume bakeries as a way of cutting queues during peak trading periods, such as lunchtime. Malcolm Simpson, Greggs’ financial director, says he is always looking at methods to improve customer experiences.“We don’t have Chip and PIN units in our shops because most of our transactions are below £2, but working in cash has its own costs. This sort of thing would be of great interest to us, not just because of peak trading times, but because of convenience for customers.” Alexander Labak, president of MasterCard Europe, says: “Low-value transactions, where consumers traditionally rely on cash, are the next frontier for debit cards. By breaking cost barriers and creating a simple alternative to cash, we’re creating an attractive situation for banks, consumers and merchants.” According to Rob Keenan, product leader, Tap & Go has been driven by merchants looking for a quick, convenient way to receive payments, while reducing the amount of cash they have to deal with. “There has been real co-operation between retailers, banks and ourselves. It’s similar to how Chip and PIN first developed.” The US experience In 2005, contactless payments expanded from regional trials in the US to a broader more nationwide acceptance of the technology. In the past year, major banks including Chase, Citibank and HSBC, have begun to issue MasterCard PayPass-enhanced credit cards, debit cards and key rings. Major merchants also announced plans to accept MasterCard PayPass, including McDonald’s, Duane Reade drug stores and 7-11. In December 2005, there were more than 4.3m MasterCard PayPass cards and key rings and approximately 25,000 merchants accepting the payment. “In 2006 we expect to see the adoption and appeal of contactless payments grow considerably in the US,” said Cathleen Conforti, MasterCard’s senior vice-president and PayPass global product manager. “As more consumers become comfortable with Tap & Go payments, they will show preference for those merchants that allow them to speed through check-outs with a ‘tap’. This shift in their shopping patterns will encourage broader acceptance by national and regional merchants.” She adds that new developments will arise, such as the launch of non-card products. “Citibank, for example, has already announced the roll-out of its contactless debit key fobs in the US,” she says. “MasterCard also continues to work with handset manufacturers to pilot the use of mobile phones as contactless payment devices. We have made great progress with the technology involved. We have now integrated PayPass technology into the phone itself.”last_img read more

120 years of Hovis history

first_imgRHM is celebrating the 120th anniversary of its ‘nourishing and nice’ Hovis brand this month, with a £1m advertising campaign. Hovis bread, which launched in 1886, has picked up many fans, including Queen Victoria, over the decades. It is still made using a patented wheatgerm flour, but was relaunched and reformulated last year as “healthiest ever Hovis”, with reduced salt. Colin Lomax, technical sales manager, is the longest serving employee in the Hovis division of what is now the RHM business. He started out at the Macclesfield “home of Hovis” 32 years ago and is well placed to comment on the illustrious history of the brand.He is at pains to emphasise that Hovis has always been about health – from its earliest adverts in the 1890s, which flagged up the curious fact that a pound and a half of Hovis was more digestible than a pound of white bread and half a pound of steak.Hovis, which 120 years ago brought you bread with wheatgerm, has never used artificial preservatives or flavourings, he tells British Baker. It has always combined innovation and the desire to move forward, embracing new technology, with an emphasis on quality and tradition. Mr Lomax says the strategy is working, as Hovis’ market share has never been larger, thanks in part to the hugely successful launch of Invisible Crust loaves last year. But we can only imagine what Queen Victoria would have made of that piece of new product development. Here are some of the highlights in 120 years of Hovis’ history.1886: Smith’s Patent Germ Bread is developed by flour miller Richard ‘Stoney’ Smith from Staffordshire. He developed a method of steam cooking that preserved the wheatgerm in bread. A national competition was launched to find a name for the bread. Herbert Grime came up with the winning name, Hovis, short for hominis vis (strength of man in Latin). Yum Yum was in second place.1895: Hovis becomes an established household name, selling over one million loaves a week and marketed as a healthy product. It is sold in 1lb and 2lb loaves, as well as ‘junior’ 8oz loaves and ‘mini’ Hovis penny loaves. 1925: The “Don’t say Brown, say Hovis” advertising slogan is born.1939-1945: Slogans including “Make Hovis your Ration” and “Thin Slices make Hovis go Further” were used during the Second World War. 1940: Hovis Granary is introduced alongside Hovis Wheatgerm.1955: With the launch of commercial TV the “Don’t say Brown, say Hovis” slogan became even more famous.1957: Bakery manufacturer Hovis and flour business McDougall merge as Hovis McDougall.1962: Rank Hovis McDougall is formed through the merger of Hovis McDougall and flour miller Joseph Rank.1973: The Hovis ‘boy and his bike’ advert, produced by film director Ridley Scott, is aired for the first time. It showed a delivery boy struggling up a hill. 1994: TV adverts used the slogan “Raised the Hovis Way” to emphasise Hovis’ traditional family values.2001: British Bakeries launches opaque packaging featuring baked beans, cucumbers and tomatoes on Hovis loaves.2005: Hovis is relaunched as “Healthiest Ever Hovis” with new packaging, a new logo, and a new recipe with 10% reduced salt. The Invisible Crust crust-free loaf is launched. 2006: Hovis celebrates its 120th anniversary with limited edition packaging on Hovis Original Wheatgerm loaves featuring the ‘boy and the bike’ delivery boy image from the 1973 Hovis commercial. The birthday campaign will also include the return of the ‘boy and his bike’ television advert and new radio advertising. The advert will be re-aired for 10 days to May 20.last_img read more

Opportunity knocks

first_imgDemand for celebration cakes in the UK market remains buoyant, according to a number of suppliers working in the sector. Moreover, the market is widely touted as not having yet reached its full potential, and opportunities to target different demographic profiles as well improve management of the category could see the market continue to effervesce for some time.“Latest statistics from the TNS Superpanel (52 w/e March 2006) show a 10% growth [for celebration cakes] on a value basis. The retail value is now estimated at £135m,” says Lightbody Celebration Cakes sales and marketing director Mark Bruce. “From TNS’ calculations, along with our own, we reckon that market volume is up by 16% in the same period, although I would say there has been some deflation of late.”That deflation he puts down to some price-fighting on key lines but also a slightly weaker year for licensing, but feels that, with more licensing programmes in the offing, the volume sector of the market will not remain deflated for long. “One in four people buy a celebration cake in the UK,” he says. “That’s a great dynamic to have, but also indicates there’s plenty of opportunity to increase the category.”Seasonal elements, such as Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and so on are driving sales, notes Lesley Loveday marke-ting manager of Leamington Spa-based Elisabeth the Chef. “Seasonal is the faster growing sub-sector for celebration cakes,” she says. Memory Lane Cakes marketing controller Martin Wiltshire agrees, saying, “Growth has been steady and demand remains buoyant, but we believe that there is still room for expansion through greater penetration. Demand has been highest among children’s cakes, as usual, but adult cakes are in growth. We believe there is more opportunity for adult cakes and for older children, especially girls.”“Adult gifting is the hardest market to crack,” adds Bruce, “particularly the male adult gifting sector.” Lightbody found that its Crazy Frog cake, based on the mobile telephone character and one of the company’s most successful licensed models, made some inroads into the teenager/adult sector last year, but feels that innovative thinking could achieve much more.Loveday suggests that “cheeky licences for big birthdays” may be a way to crack the adult market. And, as official FA England licensee to support the World Cup, the company is finding that sales are “outstanding”. It has also recently launched a Doctor Who celebration cake, which she says is selling extremely well.Meanwhile, Lightbody’s long-term licensing arrangement with Disney sees ongoing popularity for cakes featuring characters such as Winnie the Pooh and the Disney Princess line. But Bruce is already looking forward to the potential of new movies coming out later this year, including Disney’s Cars, Superman the Movie and characters that will target the pre-school sector, such as Dora the Explorer. “Recently, we’ve had a lack of real ‘hero’ licences in the pre-school sector, so it has been under-performing. Traditionally there has not been a gap there,” he says. The traditional focus for celebration cakes has been in the children’s market, most often linked to film and television, and this is continuing. Inter Link Foods’ division Creative Cake Company has recently launched My Little Pony, Ice Age II and Hallmark’s Forever Friends cakes to retail. “These individual three characters enjoy traditional and hot property status,” says Creative Cake Company managing director Chris Marshall, “but all share a high level of craftmanship and innovation. Natural colours are high on the firm’s agenda, he says, along with decorative fudges flavoured with fruit juices. “We are also working with a number of retailers on a range of personalised, hand-decorated cakes, with an inscription piped to the customer’s choice.”Indeed, personalised finishing touches are helping to drive the market for both adults and children, with the latest photo-cake technology being developed. “We have seen a sharp increase in sales of photo cakes, where customers bring their own photograph to store and have it recreated on a sugar plaque on the cake,” says Greencore Cakes & Desserts’ commercial director Paul Rhodes. “Today’s consumers want the convenience of buying a delicious well-made cake, but adding personalised finishing touches themselves.” To take this to another level, the company has teamed up with cake accessory brand Supercook to provide a ready-made and iced cake with a range of icing tubes and toppings. Another success for the firm has been the ‘Bart Simpson Write Your Own Message’ cake, which also includes a tube of icing, says the company. The cake includes a model of Bart and gives the customer the opportunity to add their own message and twist to the iconic blackboard image from the beginning of each episode of TV cartoon series The Simpsons.Lightbody works with retailer Asda on photo cakes. Consumers can bring in a picture of a loved one, which can be surrounded by a border – perhaps a specific Disney frame – on top of the cake. And it doesn’t stop there. As Memory Lane’s Mar-tin Wiltshire notes, “Suppliers are looking for interesting ways to catch people’s attention and complement the theme of their cakes. Sound and light have been used on some cakes, making the products more interesting fun and interactive.”So what are the main challenges facing category growth in the celebration cake market? Loveday says that profit is continually being challenged both by the retailers and the supply base. “Volume is key,” she says. “Drive your profit via increased sales.”Bruce believes that retailers are deman-ding innovation, new formats, new designs and improved category management, leading to less waste. “Celebration cakes are a high-value line with a short shelf life, so waste is key,” he says. “We can target this with better packaging and ranging to improve stocking and waste management.“It’s not about price points, it’s about value for money,” says Bruce. “It’s important for us to drive the category. In the supermarkets, we can see the potential for a range of celebration cakes over and above the current price structure. In smaller shops, celebration cakes can sell in the £15-£25 range. By definition, celebration cakes are not an impulse purchase and there is an opportunity to provide new reasons to buy one.”“As long as we support the film and TV industry, there will be a place for licen-sing,” adds Loveday. “With an increasing number of strong licences coming into the market, it will be great for sales, but we will face the challenge of gaining space on retailers’ fixtures.”Marshall adds that a high level of innovation and hand craftmanship gives the firm confidence it can continue to develop the celebration cake market further. Meanwhile, Green-core’s advice to retailers is to work with the company to get availability right first and foremost. “There are too many instances of out-of-stocks at store level, which means unhappy customers and lost sales opportunities,” claims Rhodes. “We know from research that if consumers are unable to find the cake they want from their regular store, then they will go elsewhere until they do. We estimate that if availability was 100%, the celebration cake market could go up by £7.5m.”last_img read more

VAT fight moves to High Court

first_imgLeeds retail bakery chain Ainsleys has vowed to fight on in the High Court, after HM Revenue and Customs appealed against a tribunal ruling on VAT payments this week (British Baker, September 1, pg 3).The case, which has vast implications for other bakers, revolves around the VAT status of Ainsleys’ hot ciabatta melts product. The retailer is seeking a £171,858 refund on VAT payments made since 2001. The case started in October 2004 and a VAT tribunal found in Ainsleys’ favour in August this year.MD Roy Kelly told British Baker: “Unfourtunately there will be an appeal. I will be in the High Court to defend our case. It is disappointing to have to go through another legal process.”He said a final decision from the High Court was now likely in around four months time.Under VAT law, hot food attracts VAT at standard rate. However it can be exempt if it is only served hot to comply with food safety regulations.Ainsleys argues that its ciabatta melts are only served from hotplates to keep them fresh and that the tomato paste in them contains pathogens which need to be heated to make them safe to eat.Takeaway chains, including bakery giant Greggs, are understood to be watching the case with interest.last_img read more


first_imgMichele Youngretail and brands director, BB’s Coffee and Muffins, No.10We currently have 177 stores throughout the UK and Ireland. This represents an increase on last year as we have opened about 20 new stores in the last 12 months.The main problems we faced in 2007 centred around the industry cost increases and the challenge to ensure that we maintain our value-for-money retail price positioning, which has been key to our success.Our store design is currently under review and will evolve accordingly, as BB’s is very much a place where our customers want to feel relaxed, and we expect to open a further 20-25 stores in 2008 and aim to reach 200 stores next year.The menu is constantly being reviewed to ensure that we meet customer taste preferences and demands. We have some exciting new products in the pipeline for 2008, which suit our customers’ needs.Simon Hargravescommercial director, Pret A Manger, No. 9Overall 2007 was an excellent year, but commodity price pressures – particularly wheat price increases – have dampened our success. We now have 175 shops, an increaseof 21.We expect to have 206 UK shops by the end of 2008. We have an ongoing refurbishment programme to keep our shops fresh and relevant. We also continue to model our shops to suit their local area and customers. For instance, shops in retail areas and shops in worker areas.The menu will evolve, as always, as we focus on taste, provenance and quality.Peter Williamsbakery director, Simmons Bakers, No. 33We have 29 bakery shops at the moment and plan to open another by March.It will be our aim to open one to two a year. We also have a growing wholesale business, which accounts for about 25% of bakery sales.With health trends growing, speciality breads such as the GI loaf are seeing good growth. But doughnuts are still by far our biggest-selling product. We make anywhere between 4-5,000 jam and ring doughnuts a day.The biggest challenge in 2007 was, by far, rising ingredients and fuel costs. We were forced to put a price increase on some of our products in October, on top of our annual increase in April.Kevin Grahamregional director for Europe, Israel and South Africa, Subway, No. 2Subway has doubled its number of stores in the UK and Ireland in the last two years and now has over 1,100 stores. It has plans to open another 1,000 stores in the UK and Ireland by 2010. The level of growth we’ve experienced in the UK and Ireland is a fantastic achievement. It reflects the entrepreneurial spirit of the development agents and franchisees, together with the power of the Subway brand and the strength of its systems, policies and procedures.The chain’s popularity among consumers has seen sales of subs continue to rise – one of the key product advantages is that subs are made up in front of the customer, exactly the way they want them. n—-=== Next year’s Top 50? ===John ChalmersMD, Chalmers Bakery, No. 51We’ve had many highlights this year, particularly the Scotch Pie World Cup. On the downside, we’ve had the usual staffing problems, but we’re lucky because we’re able to employ people from the EU. We now have 17 shops, the same as last year, but one is being refurbished at the moment. We want to make the bakery more modern and attractive to customers.We’re not actively looking for a new site, but if one pops up in the correct location then we’ll take it.last_img read more

Ethical trends

first_imgRetail sales of Fairtrade products in 2007 were worth £493m, up a staggering 81% on 2006 sales of £273m, according to the Fairtrade Foundation.Sales have been increasing by over 40% year-on-year since 2002. Tea and coffee sales, in particular, have shown dramatic rises. Fairtrade coffee sales rose 24% to over £117m last year, while Fairtrade tea rose 24% to just over £30m. Fairtrade tea should account for one-tenth of all tea sold in the UK by the end of 2008.The figures were released by the Fairtrade Foundation, to coincide with Fairtrade Fortnight, which lasts until 9 March. Harriet Lamb, executive director of the Fairtrade Foundation, said: “After years of chipping away, Fairtrade supporters are finally beginning to make a significant impression on the way companies trade. Increasing numbers of people in the UK are buying Fairtrade goods as a practical action to tackle poverty in the developing world. But the scale and level of poverty worldwide demands that we all play our part to scale up Fairtrade. That means more companies offering more Fairtrade products and the public putting those Fairtrade goods in their shopping baskets.”Over 10,000 events across the UK have taken place during Fairtrade Fortnight, aimed at building awareness of how small changes in shopping habits can make big differences to producers around the world.last_img read more

Kerrs to open new £1m bakery

first_imgKerrs Bakery is celebrating its 10th anniversary by opening a new £1m factory in Motherwell, with annual turnover predicted to reach more than £2m this year. The wholesale business – one of the main producers of Caramel Cake in Scotland – manufactures a wide range of long-life handmade cakes, as well as short-life cakes with a 12- to 14-day shelf-life.The new factory is three times the size of the old one and Kerrs expects to hire an additional 13 staff, to join its existing team of 20, before the summer. Founder Karen Murray opened a small shop in Armadale, West Lothian, 10 years ago with start-up help from the Prince’s Scottish Youth Business Trust, to make caramel cake. Products are distributed directly to small grocers, coffee shops, delicatessens and supermarkets, mainly in Scotland, and Murray has plans to expand the retail supply. “We have done some small orders for Scottish supermarkets and would like to develop that this year,” she said.last_img read more

UBUK gets into the Christmas spirit early

first_imgUnited Biscuits UK (UBUK) is ready with its Christmas range, including new, redesigned and returning cakes and biscuits for the festive season. New to the McVitie’s range is a Disney Cookies & Cream biscuit assortment and a Classic Collection Gifting Tin. Newcomers include a Penguin Yule Log, following the success of Penguin Mini Rolls, while making a return for 2009 is McVitie’s Christmas Jamaica Ginger & Rum cake; McVitie’s Irish Cream Bars; and McVitie’s Mint Digestive Slices.www.unitedbiscuits.co.uklast_img

Richemont contests at fair

first_imgThe prestigious Richemont Club’s competitions will for the first time be open to all, not just members, at Bakers’ Fair.Bakers’ Fair Autumn, on Sunday 2 October at the Bolton Arena, will host the competitions for the eighth year running.The event will also host a masterclass on cake pop-making from John Robertshaw of Bako North Western; a talk from the Soil Association on ’Demystifying organic’; and demonstrations from Richemont Club of Great Britain members.Visit www.bakersfair.co.uk for free registration and details.last_img

Suspect charged in 7-11 shooting

first_imgIndianaLocalNewsSouth Bend Market Twitter Previous articleSouth Bend Schools plan to give students time to return instruments and gather personal itemsNext articleReminder: BMV late fees to resume on Wednesday Tommie Lee Google+ (Photo supplied/ABC 57) A man accused in a double shooting outside the 7-Eleven store at Mishawaka Avenue and Main Street in Mishawaka faces attempted murder and aggravated battery charges.Emmett White, 25, is set for an initial bail hearing Wednesday.The shooting happened during the early morning hours of June 20. According to court documents, White fired at the victim’s car, which took off and crashed in front of a nearby church. They say the bullets struck a man in the arm and a woman in the jaw.The woman has had to undergo several reconstructive surgeries and has only been able to answer investigators’ questions by nodding or shaking her head.Police were called to the convenience store around 3:35 a.m. on Saturday, June 20 on reports of multiple shots fired in the parking lot.When officers arrived they discovered more than 10 shell casing laying in the parking lot near the gas pumps. Witnesses on scene said the suspect left the area and the victim’s car took off north bound on North Main Street.Officers discovered a maroon car had crashed into a utility pole approximately a few blocks from the scene of 7-Eleven.Inside the vehicle, officers found two gunshot victims with serious injuries. Facebook Pinterest Pinterest Facebook By Tommie Lee – June 30, 2020 0 297 Twitter Suspect charged in 7-11 shooting WhatsApp WhatsApp Google+last_img read more